In an effort to advance the quality of nurse anesthesia care provided to patients, the NBCRNA maintains a recertification process for all practicing CRNAs. The recertification helps to ensure that all nurse anesthetists are maintaining an adequate level of skill required to practice safe anesthesia, as well as keeping current with the scientific and technological developments within the field. A nurse anesthetist who has satisfied the NBCRNA’s objective criteria will receive recertification for a period of two years.
Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program
In 2012, the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists adopted a new standard for the recertification of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. This new standard is known as The Continued Professional Certification Program (or CPC) and will take effect as of January 1, 2016.
1. General Requirements for CPC.
Applicants for recertification must hold a current and valid registered nursing and/or advanced nursing practice license issued by the individual’s state board(s) of nursing. Applicants must be initially certified as a nurse anesthetist by NBCRNA or its predecessor(s). The NBCRNA will no longer require practice hours for recertification once the CPC Program begins.
2. Length of Certification.
Nurse anesthetists will be required to rectify every four years. A progress audit for each individual will be completed every two years. Individuals who do not completing at least half of the required components for recertification by that time (every 2 years), will receive a letter reminding them of the four-year requirements.
3. Competency Modules.
In every four-year certification cycle, candidates must complete four core competency modules, one in each of the following categories. The modules will qualify for assessed continuing education credits.
- Airway Management Techniques
- Applied Clinical Pharmacology
- Human Physiology and Pathophysiology
- Anesthesia Technology
4. The Recertification Examination.
Beginning in 2016, nurse anesthetists will be required to take a recertification examination every eight years (every other four-year certification cycle).
For individuals certified before January 1, 2024, the first exam administration will be used for diagnostic purposes. Any nurse anesthetists who does not meet the passing standard in any major content area of the diagnostic exam will be required to complete additional continuing education credits in those content areas.
All nurse anesthetists will be required to meet a passing standard on the recertification exam at eight-year cycles by the year 2032 or 2033, depending on their recertification cycle.
5. Continuing Education
Continuing education requirements will be divided into Assessed and Non-Assessed components. Assessed units must have prior approval, while Non-Assessed units are self-monitored but subject to NBCRNA audit.
- 15 assessed (include an end-of-activity assessment of learning) CE units are required per year.
- 10 non-assessed (professional activities with or without end-of-activity assessments) units are required per year.
* Operational aspects of the CPC program are in development and the content provided by TheCRNA.com is not a comprehensive statement of all of the CPC program requirements. The information included in this overview was quoted directly from this NBCRNA brochure obtained from the 2012 AANA Annual Meeting.